Speak Up exists to develop transformative lifelong skills in homeless people while giving them a voice, income and dignity.


By publishing a weekly magazine written by homeless writers. Each copy of the magazine is sold one-by-one in public places by people facing homelessness. The process of writing the selling the magazine builds confidence, earns them money, develops critical life skills and releases their voice.


Speak Up Magazine is a 501(c)3 Public Charity. The first issue of Speak Up was published in 2011 in Charlotte, NC. Speak Up is a member of the International Network of Street Papers, which provides networking guidance for similar initiatives around the globe.


“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

  • The human soul has immeasurable value.
  • Developing individuals is of the highest priority.
  • Dignity is a right for all persons.
  • A meaningful life of purpose can lived by everyone.
  • A better way can probably be found. Purposeful change and innovation are welcome.

Matt Shaw, Executive Director / Editor
Lana Shaw, Co-founder
Peggi Knowe, editing & admin
Harry Griffin, homeless writer’s workshop

Board of Directors

Phil Felten, Association Management Solutions
Lisa Koons, Charlotte 24-7 Prayer Room 
Bill Shaw, Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation
Cesar Silva, All Nations Coffee

Cal Queener, Treasurer
Lindsay DaCosta, Secretary


Charlotte Agenda (12/22/15) Has Charlotte Made Progress in Ending Homelessness?

WFAE NPR (12/16/14) Speak Up Magazine: Giving a Voice to Charlotte’s Homeless

Creative Loafing Charlotte (3/27/13)
Speak Up Magazine Gets Another Chance

Charlotte Observer: State of the Art Blog (8/29/12):
Charlotte’s coolest new magazine

Charlotte Magazine (11/01/11):
The People’s Publication

FOX News Charlotte (10/08/11):
Charlotte’s First Street Magazine Headed to a Corner Near You

CLT Blog (10/07/11):
Word on the Street: Charlotte’s First Street Mag, Speak Up

Red White and Green Photography Blog (8/23/11):
Speak Up

Permission to Peruse (8/22/11):
Speak Up

Crossroads Charlotte (7/18/11):
New street paper wants to ‘Speak Up’ for Charlotte’s homeless

Charlotte Observer (7/10/11):
Street Mag Will Give Homeless a Voice